If you freeze, heat or evaporate water, the minerals that were once dissolved in the water will find a new home in your equipment.
It is used for a variety of commercial and residential applications to minimize the damaging impact of hard scale. The process involves flowing water that contains calcium and magnesium (water hardness) ions, through a sodium-charged resin media where the hardness ions are physically exchanged for sodium ions.
Water hardness is often expressed as grains-per-gallon (gpg) where one grain of hardness is equivalent to 17.1 milligrams per liter (mg/l) or parts per million (ppm) of water hardness. By definition, water is soft when it contains less than one grain of hardness. The capacity of a softening device is a measure of how many grains of hardness can be removed before becoming exhausted.
OptiPure softening systems for espresso and tea utilize Strong Acid Cation (SAC) softening resin which specifically removes, calcium and magnesium hardness minerals. Only these hardness minerals and some forms of iron are removed.
Ion exchange changes the physical characteristics of water, which may not result in the right water chemistry for some applications. It is most often used in a system that includes sediment and chlorine, taste & odor reduction.
Softening systems are available in compact QT, EM and FX configurations with a range of capacities ideal for espresso and specialty tea applications. The OS line of softeners offers larger-capacity softening for warewashing to greatly reduce unsightly spotting on dishes and glassware. OptiSoft softeners are self-regenerating for high-capacity/high-flow applications.
OptiPure does not recommend softened water for coffee brewers.